Kick On and Lillie Keenan Kick Off Their First Winin the $65,000 The Estates at TerraNovaFEI 1.45m Grand Prix

Lillie Keenan and Kick On ride to the win in the $65,000 The Estates at TerraNova FEI 1.45m Grand Prix. Photo by EQ Media

Edited Press Release

Myakka City, Fla. – March 16, 2024 – Thirty five horse-and-rider combinations from nine countries took center stage this morning for the $65,000 The Estates at TerraNova FEI 1.45m Grand Prix at the TerraNova Winter Series Week III. The first-round track produced just four clear riders in a star-studded lineup that included four Olympians, but it was Lillie Keenan (USA) and Kick On (Warrior x Sussex Caretino) who emerged victorious. 

Mauricio Garcia Ballesteros’ (PUR) CSI2* grand prix course had 16 jumping efforts with an adjusted time allowed of 83 seconds. The first-round track began with a large triple bar approached on the left or right lead, followed by three combinations: a vertical-oxer one stride, an oxer-vertical two stride, and a vertical-vertical one stride. Though the course looked inviting at first glance, the time allowed proved tight with four riders jumping clear rounds but finishing outside the time allowed. 

“My original thought with the time allowed was to be tight, but I think I got it tighter than I anticipated,” Ballesteros said. “When I built the track, I wanted to give a bit of height. Everything was a little bit far away. People were saying ‘Oh, it’s nice, it’s easy,’ but having a wide track like that, you’re going to have rails.”

The jump-off track, a short course with a time allowed of 43 seconds, included eight jumping efforts giving riders the opportunity to save time with tight inside turns. Stella Stinett (USA) returned first and laid down a clean and quick round to finish in 43.40 seconds. When Luiz Francisco de Azevedo (BRA) navigated the inside turn from jump four and the decorative water feature, Keenan, who returned last, knew she could beat the time. 

“I had designed the course last week, and I didn’t expect to have the pond in the middle,” Ballesteros said. “So I tweaked the course to flow with the pond included, but that’s one of the beauties of this, is that people are always going to find a way to try to find a gap for time. Lillie was amazing, she really saw the gap and it was just a masterpiece.”

Kick On, the 10-year-old entry of Chansonette Farm LLC, is a relatively new addition to Keenan’s string, but the pair felt right at home in the Lakeside Arena.

Lillie Keenan and Kick On lead the victory gallop in the $65,000 The Estates at TerraNova FEI 1.45m Grand Prix. Photo by EQ Media.

“I only bought him at the end of last year from David Blake and Amanda Derbyshire,” Keenan said. “We just started jumping FEI two or three weeks ago. Before that he had really just jumped nationally in England, and even though he’s ten, he maybe doesn’t have the most international experience. You wouldn’t know that riding him; I think that he’s an incredibly talented horse and there’s just something about him that we get along so well.”

The win caps off Keenan’s first trip to TerraNova. “I actually came here for experience, a change of scenery and to give my horses a nice week that wasn’t too much pressure,” she said. “I really loved that today we had a chance to push ourselves. The turn in the jump-off I actually hadn’t planned, and then I saw Luiz do it successfully and I thought I’d rather learn how to do it here with him then at the last moment. But he acted like he had done it every day of the week, so I’m just really privileged that I have such a special horse and that we get to jump at such a fantastic place like TerraNova!”

Stella Stinnett and Storiall Blue ride to second place in the $65,000 The Estates at TerraNova FEI 1.45m Grand Prix. Photo by EQ Media.

Following 3.3 seconds behind Keenan was Stinnett aboard the Heathman Farm LLC’s Storiall Blue (Stakkato x Corialla), who spent last winter training under Keenan’s tutelage. “This is my first time competing against Lillie, but I don’t think the student was ready to surpass the master just yet,” Stinnett said. “We’ve worked so hard to get here. This horse is everything to me and I just thought about being good for him.”

Azevedo aboard Perte Totale de Res Nova finished third in the $65,000 The Estates at TerraNova FEI 1.45m Grand Prix. Photo by EQ Media.

Rounding out the top three was Brazilian rider Luiz Fransisco de Azevedo aboard Perte Totale de Res Nova (Comme I’m Faut x Musica Do Magico), a nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding. “We love showing here,” Azevedo said. “It’s a great atmosphere and the horses love it.”

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Mauricio Garcia Ballesteros’ (PUR) CSI2* grand prix course had 16 jumping efforts with a time allowed of 80 seconds, which was adjusted after the first three riders to 83 seconds.

But when Luiz Francisco de Azevedo (BRA) demonstrated a precarious turn inside of jump four and a decorative water feature, Keenan, who returned last, knew she could beat the time. 

Winter hunter/jumper competition at TerraNova Equestrian Center concludes next week, March 20-24, with TerraNova Winter Series Week IV featuring A-Rated hunters including a $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, equitation such as the USEF Medal and USHJA 3’3” Hunt Seat Medal and jumpers from crossrails to the FEI CSI2* 1.45m Grand Prix. 

TerraNova Winter Series Week III competition continues Saturday, March 17, with the $3,000 1.20m Junior/Amatuer Jumper Classic and the $3,500 1.30m Junior/Amatuer Jumper Classic, presented by Forget Me Not Farm.